Saudi Arabia has expanded a buffer zone that it has set up along its northern border with Iraq.
“The depth of the border has been increased by 20 kilometers (12 miles)”, the Saudi Press Agency quoted Mohammed al-Fahimi, a spokesman for the country’s northern region border guards, as saying on Tuesday.
However, Fahimi did not cite the previous depth of the buffer zone.
Saudi border officials also urged the kingdom’s citizens to stay away from the buffer zone.
In September, Saudi Arabia announced that it had installed multilayered fences, radars and other surveillance facilities along its borderline with the neighboring Iraq, where a US-led coalition have been waging airstrikes against the positions of ISIL Takfiri terrorists.
Saudi Arabia claims the buffer zone is created to protect the kingdom against the infiltration of weapon smugglers, drug traffickers and outlaws.
Saudi Arabia has an 800-kilometer border with Iraq.
Riyadh’s decision came a few days after Iraqi President Fuad Masum paid a visit to the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is believed to financially and ideologically fuel ISIL terrorist group.
Iraq’s former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki accused neighboring Saudi Arabia in January of supporting terrorist groups operating inside his country.
“The current terrorism originates from Saudi Arabia,” Maliki said in an interview, blaming the country along with Qatar and Turkey for sponsoring terrorism in Syria and Iraq. Maliki was replaced by Haider al-Abadi in June.
ISIL terrorists are currently in control of large areas across eastern Syria and northern and western Iraq.
They have been carrying out horrific acts of violence, including public decapitations and crucifixions, against different Iraqi and Syrian communities such as Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.